|Genres||Bubblegum, Rock and roll|
|Associated acts||Ron Dante, Andy Kim|
The Archies are a virtual garage band founded by Archie Andrews, Reggie Mantle, and Jughead Jones, a group of adolescent fictional characters of the Archie universe, in the context of the animated TV series, The Archie Show.
The fictional band's music was recorded by session musicians featuring Ron Dante on vocals and released as a series of singles and albums. Their most successful song, "Sugar, Sugar", became one of the biggest hits of the bubblegum pop genre which flourished from 1968 to 1972.
The Archies play a variety of contemporary popular music, consistent with the era in which the comic is drawn. They seem to have a preference for rock and roll, however.
Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge later also joined the group. Every member sings vocals, with Jughead handling the bass voice on a few tracks.
The roles the teens play in the fictional band were:
- Archie: lead vocals/ lead guitar
- Reggie: second guitar / bass guitar
- Jughead: drums
- Betty: tambourine / percussion / guitar
- Veronica: organ / keyboard
- Hot Dog: mascot / conductor
Even though the band have soft voices appropriate for pop singing, their actual voices are much different. An unusual distribution mode for their music was as cardboard records embossed directly onto the backs of breakfast cereal boxes so that the cardboard record could be cut out and played on a turntable (although their music was also available on standard issue LPs and 45s). Though the group no longer appears in animation, they are still frequently used in stories published by Archie Comics.
The Archies are sometimes jokingly compared to The Doors, as they also had no bass player, but there is some controversy as to whether Reggie played bass or not. In most drawings, his guitar looks identical to Archie's, making him the band's second (or co-lead) guitarist. However, a number of drawings (including the one above) clearly show the instrument to have four tuning keys, the most common bass design. Six-string bass guitars do exist, however, and the Archies' recordings regularly featured a bass player. In more than one comic strip, Reggie is described as playing bass (however, this is not necessarily canon, as storylines and hobbies/activities in the Archie world change from story to story). Finally, in the liner notes for 2008's The Archies Christmas Album, Reggie is listed as the bass guitarist.
Other cartoon groups
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, fictional musical groups were common in animation. This dates at least as far back as 1965 with The Beatles, but the Archies help to popularize the concept. Most of these groups played bubblegum pop. Several were also teenaged detectives, taking influence from Scooby Doo. These groups included The Groovie Goolies, The Hardy Boys, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids, The Banana Splits (actually live action), The Cattanooga Cats, The Chan Clan, and The Neptunes. Animated versions of The Jackson 5ive, the Osmond Brothers and the Partridge Family also existed. Archie Comics' own creation Josie and the Pussycats was successful both as an animated series and as a comic book (and later a live action motion picture), but The Bingoes and The Madhouse Glads lacked its popularity and never appeared in animation. One modern example of the "cartoon rock group" could include the british band, Gorillaz-- a musical project created in 1998 by British musician Damon Albarn and British cartoonist Jamie Hewlett.
A set of studio musicians were assembled by Don Kirshner in 1968 to perform various songs. The most famous is "Sugar, Sugar", written by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim, which went to #1 on the pop chart in 1969, sold over six million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. In Billboard's Hot 100, it was ranked as the number one song of that year, the only time a fictional band has ever claimed Billboard's annual Hot 100 top spot. Other Top 40 songs recorded by The Archies include "Who's Your Baby?" (U.S. #40), "Bang-Shang-A-Lang" (U.S. #22), and "Jingle Jangle" (U.S. #10). "Jingle Jangle" also sold over one million copies, garnering a second gold disc award.
Male vocals for the fictional Archies group were provided by The Cuff Links' lead singer Ron Dante and female duet vocals were provided by Toni Wine. Wine, who was only paid for the recording session and quit the group when the song became a huge hit, was succeeded in 1970 by Donna Marie, who in turn was replaced on the final recordings by Merle Miller. The only Archies song not to feature Ron Dante on lead was 1971's "Love Is Living In You," sung by Richie Adams. The last single released 1972 was "Strangers in the Morning;" its B-side song was "Plum Crazy."
Jeff Barry, Andy Kim, Susan Morse, Joey Levine, Maeretha Stewart, Bobby Bloom and Leslie Miller contributed background vocals at various times, with Barry contributing his trademark bass voice (portrayed as being sung by Jughead in the cartoon) on cuts such as "Jingle Jangle," "Rock 'n' Roll Music", "A Summer Prayer For Peace" (which hit #1 in South Africa in 1971) and "You Little Angel, You." Musicians on Archies records included guitarist Hugh McCracken, bassists Chuck Rainey and Joey Macho, keyboard player Ron Frangipane and drummers Buddy Saltzman and Gary Chester.
Most of the Archies' songs were produced, written or co-written by Neil Goldberg and Jeff Barry. The following list of thirty one titles were all written, arranged, directed and produced in the studio, solely by Neil Brian Goldberg, who is still grateful to Jeff Barry for giving him the deal, (part of which was for Nancy Barry's name to appear on each song). Neil Goldberg played rhythm guitar and was session leader on all tracks. Goldberg also sang background on a number of these tracks.
The Archies' records were initially released on the Calendar Records label, but the name was shortly thereafter changed to Kirshner Records.
A detourned video was made, "God Save the Archies", matching clips from the show to the Sex Pistols song "God Save the Queen". (Pistols vocalist Johnny Rotten, like Archie Andrews, is a redhead.)
Giant Jukebox Song list
All words & music Neil Brian Goldberg.
- "Anyone Can Be Anything"
- "Ballad of 51st Street Park"
- "The Big Boat"
- "Candy Kisses"
- "Comes the Sun"
- "Don't Let It Get You Down"
- "Don't Run from Love"
- "Falling in Love Is Fun"
- "Hey Little One"
- "I'm Just a Puppet on a String"
- "Jungle George"
- "The Laughing Song"
- "Little by Little"
- "Looks That Say 'I Love You'"
- "Lonely Cricket"
- "Love Land"
- "Love Went Round"
- "Love Vibrations"
- "Lucky Me"
- "Monkey See, Monkey Do"
- "Mr. Factory"
- "My Singing Guitar"
- "Oh Sweet Suzie"
- "Puppet On a String"
- "Rowboat Ride"
- "Somebody Likes You"
- "Sweet Saturday Night"
- "The Big Boat"
- "The Ways I Love You"
- "We're One Big Family"
- "Young Love"
The sound engineer was Fred Weinberg, who was Jeff Barry's and Andy Kim's favorite, and who also recorded Barry and Kim's other hits "Be My Baby", "Baby I Love You", "Rock Me Gently" and many more. Fred Weinberg is an award winning composer and producer in his own right. However, the music for The U.S. of Archie TV show which aired in 1975, was produced by Jackie Mills, a Hollywood producer, who also produced Bobby Sherman and the Brady Kids. The vocalist for these shows was Tom McKenzie, who also sang on some Groovie Goolie segments, and was a regular member of the popular singing group, the Doodletown Pipers.
In addition, singer Ron Dante is credited with writing/co-writing several of the groups album tracks.
Contrary to popular belief, although the verses of Jingle Jangle are supposedly sung by either Betty or Veronica (the only two female members of the fictional group), in reality, it was not performed by any female vocalist, rather it was Dante using a falsetto voice  as evidenced by the lyrics "It's my true heart I'm showin'/or my nose would be growin'/you know that it gets longer when I lie".
Dante returned for a 2008 Archies album, The Archies Christmas Party, with singers Danielle van Zyl and Kelly-Lynn.
Music from the show was not only released on LP, but also frequently the backs of cereal boxes.
- The Archies (1968)
- Everything's Archie (TV theme song) / Bang-Shang-A-Lang / Boys & Girls / Time for Love / You Make Me Wanna Dance / La Dee Doo Down Down / Truck Driver / Catching Up on Fun / I'm in Love / Seventeen Ain't Young / Ride Ride Ride / Hide & Seek
- Everything's Archie (1969)
- Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y.-D.O.O.) / Melody Hill / Rock 'n' Roll Music / Kissin' / Don't Touch My Guitar / Circle of Blue / Sugar, Sugar / You Little Angel You / Bicycles, Roller Skates and You / Hot Dog / Inside Out, Upside Down / Love Light
- Jingle Jangle and Sugar Sugar (1969)
- Jingle Jangle / Everything's Alright / She's Putting Me Thru Changes / Justine / Whoopee Tie Ai A / Nursery Rhyme / Get on the Line / You Know I Love You / Senorita Rita / Look Before You Leap / Sugar and Spice / Archies Party
- Sunshine (1970)
- Sunshine / Who's Gonna Love Me / Mr. Factory / Love and Rock and Roll Music / Over and Over / Waldo P. Emerson Jones / A Summer Prayer for Peace / Dance Dance Dance / Comes the Sun / Suddenly Susan / One Big Family / It's the Summertime
- The Archies Greatest Hits (1970)
- Sugar, Sugar / Jingle Jangle / Get on the Line / Sunshine / Bang-Shang-A-Lang / Who's Your Baby? / Feelin' So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y. D.O.O.) / Over and Over / Seventeen Ain't Young / Waldo P. Emerson Jones / Everything's Alright
- This Is Love (1971)
- This is Love / Don't Need No Bad Girl / Should Anybody Ask / Easy Guy / Maybe I'm Wrong / What Goes On / Carousel Man / Hold On to Lovin' / This is the Night / Little Green Jacket / Together We Two / Throw a Little Love My Way
- The Archies Christmas Album (2008)
- Here Comes Santa Claus / Up on the Housetop / Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree / Holly Jolly Christmas / Jingle Bell Rock / I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus / Run Rudolph Run / Santa Claus is Coming to Town / Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas / Sleigh Ride / Archies Christmas Party / Christmas in Riverdale
- "Love Is Living In You" / "Hold on to Lovin'" (1971)
- "Strangers in the Morning" / "Plum Crazy" (1972)
- Cooper, Kim; Smay, David, eds. (2001). Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth: The Dark History of Prepubescent Pop, From the Banana Splits to Britney Spears, Feral House.
- 2.0 2.1 Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs, 2nd, p. 252253, London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd.
- Sources ASCAP. Oldies connection website. [Jeff Barry, Don Kirschner]
- Sources ASCAP. Oldies connection website. Jeff Barry, Don Kirschner]
- Interview With Ron Dante. Allbutforgottenoldies.net (2004-10-09). Retrieved on 2010-03-31.
- Sendra, Tim (2008-09-30). Archies Christmas Album review, AMG website. Allmusic.com. Retrieved on 2010-03-31.
- Ron Dante
- The Archies